ISLAMABAD – Embattled Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Friday he will respect the outcome of a supreme court move to indict him on contempt charges.The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Gilani to appear before it on February 13, to be indicted with contempt for failing to pursue corruption cases against president Asif Ali Zardari.
The shock announcement threatens to plunge his weak government deeper into crisis and force early elections within months.
“I will go there and I will present my stance before the court,” Gilani told reporters in the eastern city of Lahore.
He said the matter was “sub-judice” and he should not comment on the issue, but added that he “will respect the court order” and reiterated his opposition to conflict between state institutions.
Supreme Court judge Nasir-ul-Mulk told the court Thursday there were grounds to proceed against Gilani over the government’s refusal to follow a court order and ask Swiss authorities to re-open graft cases against Zardari.
Switzerland shelved the cases in 2008, when Zardari took office.
The government argued that Zardari has immunity from prosecution while head of state and accused judges of plotting with the military to wage a witch-hunt against him.
The prime minister told parliament late Thursday he will appear in the Court.
“I have attended the court when summoned in the past and I will attend again now,” he said, adding that “every body should follow the constitution”.